Q. I was eating a piece of chocolate when a friend said, “That’s not good for your arthritis.” Since then, another friend told me to avoid tomatoes.
All this advice is confusing me. Are there really foods I should avoid and are there any foods that might help arthritis?

A. Researchers at Tufts University reported that small changes in diet may make a difference in arthritis control. Omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in fish, but also in flax seed, pecans, walnuts, tofu and green leafy vegetables, help fight inflammation. Common oils such as corn, sunflower and safflower oil are full of omega-6 fatty acids and may actually promote inflammation and joint pain.
The researchers suggest at least six servings a day of produce (3 vegetables and 3 fruits) to get adequate vitamin C and beta carotene. They also recommend substituting fish, beans (soy) and nuts for meat. Vitamin D and fish oil supplements (for those who cannot stomach fish) may also be helpful.
Chocolate and tomatoes may trigger pain for some sensitive individuals. Most folks, however, don’t have to avoid these treats. You’ll have to be your own judge on whether specific foods trigger your discomfort.
To learn much more about anti-inflammatory foods and how to incorporate them into your diet we humbly suggest our book, Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy.
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• Horseradish Crusted Salmon with Cranberry Catsup (page 127). This recipe is a delicious and unusual way to enjoy the omega-3 rich fish that is so good for the heart, brain and joints. This recipe was provided by Dr. Mark Liponis, author of UltraLongevity. You will be amazed with the cranberry “catsup” which is easy and quick and does not involve tomatoes.
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  1. julianswilson
    Reply

    I have been reading in an article there are few components in chocolate that help in relieving arthritis. They contain the phytochemicals that are helpful for reducing the inflammation caused in the joints and hence keep the joints healthy.

  2. Genevieve
    Reply

    It shouldn’t hurt to try honey. It has apparently worked for me. I take a teaspoon twice a day. I started craving honey, so started eating it. I had walked like a penguin, who had hurt himself no less, for a year and a half. The doctor said it was bursitis, and prescribed anti-inflammatories. I can’t take them as they really tear up my stomach. The honey started working in just a few days. I’ve been good over a month now. In looking up honey, I learned it was used by the ancient Egyptians to reduce inflammation.

  3. rgh
    Reply

    This is the first time I ever heard of Rhus toxicodendron for arthritis.

  4. John
    Reply

    My arthritis was quite severe in my hips. After x-rays were taken the Dr. said I had arthritis. Not wanting to be on pain medicine I eliminated aspertain in diet pop and started to drink 1 or 2 glasses of red wine at night. Two years latter I am essentially pain free. On the plus side the wine helps me sleep.
    John O.

  5. nathan
    Reply

    I love tomato, when I eat a lot of tomato I get joint pain.

  6. Karen
    Reply

    If tomatoes bother you, test potatoes and green peppers, too. They’re all in the same botanical family. (So is tobaccos, but I’m assuming readers of this column don’t use tobacco.)

  7. Robin H
    Reply

    Is it also called Rhus Tox – made from the poison ivy leaves?

  8. O.G.
    Reply

    Are we Talking Rhus toxicodendron, a.k.a. Poison Ivy? What about side effects? What if one is, as I am, violently reactive to the “poisons:” ivy, oak, and sumac?

  9. GJS
    Reply

    Since corn, soy and canola are, in all forms, almost certainly GMO unless they are certified organic, it is probably best to NOT use them.

  10. Ken
    Reply

    I have seen eggplant cause significant increases in arthritis pain. Irish potatoes that have ripend to the point that they are developing a green tinge also seem to increase the pain.

  11. Larry Jay
    Reply

    Thanks for Your insight on dealing with the pain of Arthritis. After a strict elemination diet I determined that neither Tomatoes, which I crave, nor Chocolate had any affect on my Arthritic pain. Surely, each of us has their own specific body chemistry which makes treatment really a matter of continuing the use of various therapies until you find your solution. And trust me, You will find your solution. After about five years of experimenting with various therapies and products, finally I was able to find the “Cure”! For me, Rhus Todx is a true life saver. I take this Homeopathic product and it knocks my pain out.

  12. Dr. Sayeed A.
    Reply

    I appreciate very much this informative article.
    With best regards
    Sincerely yours
    Dr. Sayeed A.

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